"Won't worry about anything, instead pray about everything..." Those are the words of wisdom passed on to us by the Apostle Paul.
The Bible instructs us not to worry about what we are going to eat or what we are going to wear, and we are told not to worry about tomorrow. What we are told to do instead of worrying is to put our trust completely in God.
Sometimes that's not the easiest thing to do. It is really human nature to worry. That's just the "nature of the beast," as they say.
I came across a list of what one political think tank said was the top 10 things to worry about in America. They claim that Americans worry the most about 1) out of control spending, 2) terrorism, 3) the healthcare system at risk, 4) stubborn unemployment, 5) inflation, 6) rogue nations, 7) China, 8) crime, 9) the housing market, and 10) the presidential administration.
I tend to disagree with that list. I don't think that the majority of Americans worry about those things on a daily basis, unless they watch CNN, Fox News, and other news channels all day long.
We worry about our families, our children, our jobs and our financial security. We worry about our health and well-being, and our future and about death. Many people worry about what happens after our death, and about whether there is a literal Heaven and Hell.
But, I have to go back to what we are told in the Bible. We are told not to worry.
Psalm 55:22 tells us, "Pile your troubles on God's shoulders -- He'll carry your load, He'll help you out." (The Message)
Throughout the Scriptures we are told to let God take care of these things for us. I find that when I do that, I can actually experience peace and a sense o f rest.
The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:6-7, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
We need to trust God and believe in the power of prayer to bring results.
Jesus said in His famous "Sermon on the Mount," in Matthew 6:25-27, "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"
I find comfort in the words of the Holy Scriptures. I need to look to God when I feel overwhelmed by worry, and pile my problems on His shoulders. His shoulders are much broader than mine.
A humble Haitian mountain woman prayed a simple prayer one day that was remembered by a missionary she knew. Her prayer said, "Lord, don't let us put our load of trouble in a basket on our head. Help us put them on Jesus' head. Then we won't have headaches. Amen."
It is my prayer for you today that you will find a place of rest as you turn to God for help in your times of trouble.
Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Mt. Lebanon UMC and Cannon UMC. He is a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette, and he is a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.